Sarajevo Somun

It isn't known exactly how or when somun first came to Sarajevo. Some will tell you that it was brought by Sultan Fatih's army, while others would point to Gazi Husrev Bey and his desire to provide the poor and travelers with cheap but tasty bread in his imaret (public kitchen).

However it may have actually happened, somun has been an ever-present part of Sarajevo sofras (table spreads) for centuries. Without somun, the famous Sarajevo ćevapi would just be pieces of rolled meat, and food found in ašćinicas wouldn’t be anywhere near as delicious if they were served without somun.

In the end, a lack of somun would be most readily felt during Ramadan, the reason being that going for somun at one of the famous bakeries and standing in a long line while the enticing aroma of this baked good envelopes you is all part of the pre-iftar ritual in Sarajevo.

The somun dough (which is made from flour, water, yeast and salt) is first stretched out into an almost perfect circle and then a piece of cloth is used to score a diamond-like pattern on the top of the bread. The somuns are then placed in a wood-fired oven and baked for a minute or two.

Somuns prepared during Ramadan differ from those baked at other times of the year in that they are sprinkled with ćurekot (black cumin) seeds, which are known for their many health benefits.